I was only ever late to one high school basketball practice.

The overwhelming guilt I felt as a scrawny sophomore prompted me to promise myself I would never make the same mistake of being unprepared for a practice.

When we had morning workouts or practices, I slept in my basketball shorts.

Before I walked out the door, I triple checked to make sure I had everything in my grey Nike backpack.

I conditioned myself to wake up before the alarm on my phone, ensuring that I never overslept again.

That same fear of being late for a basketball practice slowly seeped into other aspects of my life.

My social anxiety surrounding events or deadlines became more noticeable to me. I was so discontent with not knowing how a situation would pan out, I tried to control whatever situation I was in.

And it wasn’t until this past year that I learned to be comfortable living unprepared for the future.

I began to realize that the career paths I was pursuing seemed so antithetical to 15-year-old me.

I imagined going through the motions of college, aimlessly trying to find an avenue in business or math, maybe even engineering.

But if you told that same kid that he’d be writing an editorial for The Record while serving as co-executive editor, he would have never believed you.

If you told him that he would be writing it during one of the deadliest pandemics in human history as it nears it’s one-year anniversary and recently eclipsed 400,000 deaths in the U.S., he would have been convinced you were lying.

But as the country felt as though it was falling apart (and still does), I found myself getting used to the discomfort of not knowing and frankly not believing what will come next.

Although it still doesn’t feel real that I’m in this position, after living through and witnessing what’s happened in the U.S. in the past 10 months, it somehow feels on script.

From the coronavirus to civil unrest in our country resulting in a coup at the Capitol Building, feeling comfortable about the future is a novel idea. 

So much of my life in the next year is unknown. 

Where I will live, what I will be doing and how it will all unfold.

I don’t think I’ll ever stop waking up before my alarm on an important day, but 2020 taught me that trying to think everything through doesn’t always give you the result you’re looking for.

And as graduation approaches, just three months away, I hope I won’t be sleeping in my cap and gown anytime soon.

Who cares if I’m a few minutes late?